I’ve been having a great time in Mexico visiting my old friend Jorge. Yesterday, Luis , a new friend, showed me a wonderful spot in the local forest to sketch. My adventure is coming to an end soon. I have to get back to Stockholm. My life drawing classes begin this Thursday. Contrasts.
I just spent a lovely week in Makarska, Croatia. I was painting non stop and getting as much autumn sun as I possibly could. It was an important trip for me. I feel that I have at last rediscovered my mojo after a number of bad years which are now behind me. I feel good, so nice to be painting at a level that feels rewarding.
The first two days I painted in an *A5 format that I frequently use when out sketching. The first day I painted four and the next day I painted three watercolours. I just wandered around Makarska and found endless inspiration wherever I looked. The light was fantastic. I sat in the shade and didn´t shiver and I painted all day with just a break for lunch.
I will post more watercolours from the trip soon. I moved up to a larger quarter-sheet format, difficult in the beginning but I overcame the monster that was in my head. Poor self-confidence basically.
I would recommend Croatia in the low season to anyone who wants to sketch outdoors and avoid the cold.
Trees, there are a lot of them in the Stockholm archipelago. So difficult to paint, green is an awful colour to work with, appears flat and lifeless any chance it gets. There is so much for me to master while out sailing, patience being number one.
Four small sketches of the the same scene, 18 x 13cm, Hasselö, 2022.07.20
While out sailing in the archipelago we would sometimes take a day off and just hang in a beautiful spot. This would give me the opportunity to paint. The four watercolours here are of the same scene on Själbottna island painted over two days.
I realise that my first watercolour is usually rushed and therefore not so good. I guess it’s a necessary evil, a process to slow down and really see what is in front of me. The third watercolour was an attempt to capture the advent of rain and dark thunderous skies. Finally the last watercolour was painted the next morning just before we lifted anchor and sailed off in some direction I cannot remember.
The watercolours are 18 x 13cm in size and were painted on the 16/17th of July, 2022.
I became very ill with depression last October and it’s only now that I am starting to feel good again. The summer repairs but in recent years the seasonal window has been getting smaller. I’m seeking treatment and in the worse case I’ll probably need to move south for the winter, let’s see what happens.
So while I’m all depressed my website crashed in November 2021, and I wasn’t able to fix it due to a scrambled brain – trashed by antidepressants. I’ve ditched the medication, it was impossible for me to be creative. It may work for others but it’s not the solution for me.
So, this is my first post for a while. I haven’t been so productive so nothing missed really. I am so happy that I’ve started painting again. I began in May, I visited Ireland, stayed with friends and sketched for a week. It was so beautiful, the weather was just wonderful. Recently, I was on my annual sailing adventure with my wife. I painted a lot of watercolours of the Stockholm archipelago.
These featured watercolours were painted one after the other on the 7th of July in a natural-harbour called Norra Gränholmsviken, Gällnö. 18 x 13 cm in size, it’s a quarter of a quarter sheet for those of you who paint watercolour. It’s really interesting to paint the same scene several times. I discovered new patterns, new shapes and new compositions each time. A really good exercise when trying to improve.
I just finish my little sketchbook. I like the size and the texture of the paper, it’s called, Hand Book Journal.Co and it’s distributed by Speedball Art Products, Statesville, NC. It’s made in India. Here is a link to their website: https://www.speedballart.com/our-prod…
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In this episode I take myself to a small island called Beckholmen where I sketch another little island called Kastellholmen, both are very close to the centre of Stockholm. It became a grey day and so it was a challenge to make the sketch interesting. Follow me step by step as I paint and hope for a watercolour that satisfies.